Giant Vestas Wind Turbine Collapses in Northern Sweden

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  • Bloomberg‘s Lars Paulsson has reported that a 230-meter tall wind turbine built by Vestas Wind Systems A/S collapsed at a site in northern Sweden on the weekend of 21st -22nd November 2020. 
  • The cause of the accident is unknown and the company is assembling a team that will investigate at the site, spokesman Anders Riis said on 23rd November 2020, by phone. 

“Today, even risk-averse institutional investors see onshore wind farms as a safe asset class, particularly in established markets like Sweden,” said Oliver Metcalfe, an onshore wind analyst at BloombegNEF in London. “News like this proves that it is impossible to completely eliminate construction risk, even as the industry matures.”

The 4.2-megawatt Vestas V150 turbine, among the biggest onshore facilities in the world , was one of 17 at Aldermyrberget built by developer WPD Scandinavia AB. The facility was due to start operations next month, according to information on its website. Some of the turbines have already been sending power to the grid.

Vestas has installed more than 75,000 turbines and it’s “extremely rare” that accidents like this happen, Riis said.

“We have a very comprehensive investigation process for incidents like this and we initiated that yesterday,” he said. “Now we will start collecting information and get the right people to the site.”

Investment in the wind park is probably in the region of $90 million, Metcalfe estimated. The power has already been sold via a long-term contract to a large industrial company in Sweden.

WPD Chief Executive Officer Maria Roske didn’t respond to requests for comment. She told state broadcaster SVT that it was a very unusual accident and that it will impact the timeline for the project.

Five years ago, one of Vestas’s turbines collapsed at a cite called Lemnhult, also in Sweden. The cause was found to be a lack of correct tensioning of bolts.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

Source: Bloomberg


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